The Mystery Team Position By Position

It's been a puzzling winter. Some have speculated that the big winners have been the Miami Marlins or the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Others will hold up the Rangers as the true offseason giant after landing Yu Darvish.

It's all academic, really. The most active team by far over the past two offseasons has been Mystery Team. Some have speculated that this was simply a device used by agents to drive up the price of their clients. But a closer look at Mystery Team's acquisitions makes it clear: an entire lineup and pitching staff has been built that will be the envy of everyone in baseball next year. Let's take a closer look at how Mystery Team stacks up:

At catcher, Russell Martin brings strong playcalling and a decent bat to Mystery Team's forces. He went Mystery Team back in the winter of 2010, living proof that Casey Stengel's phrase, "Without a catcher, you have a lot of passed balls" still holds power over the best front offices.

Newly-acquired first baseman Albert Pujols represents one of the great Mystery Team pickups, with conventional wisdom assigning him to either the Cardinals or Marlins right up until Mystery Team emerged. As you'll see, however, Pujols was merely the final piece in the Mystery Team championship puzzle.

Mystery Team isn't just about the stars, either, and that kind of focus on detail comes through in double-play combination Orlando Hudson, a Mystery Team member since January 2010, and Jamey Carroll, who will play shortstop for Mystery Team after joining the club this winter.  This kind of veteran leadership is bound to help this clubhouse find its identity.

At third base, Adrian Beltre has been a reliable contributor to Mystery Team since last winter. Speculation had him in talks with Mystery Team prior to this, but he'd ultimately chosen reality-based clubs too quickly for Mystery Team to swoop in until last year.

In the outfield, the defense is a little shaky. Johnny Damon is the Mystery Team's left fielder (acquired on waivers in August 2010), and Vladimir Guerrero plays right. The question: who is able to cover all that ground between them? Why, none other than the Mysterious Yoenis Cespedes, team unknown. Or is it?

Obviously, the addition of Darvish gives Mystery Team a devastating one-two punch in the starting rotation. Few players make more sense for Mystery Team than Darvish, whose ultimate destination remained a secret for days after teams submitted sealed bids. The entire process would have made Richard Nixon proud.

Darvish will follow Cliff Lee, last winter's biggest Mystery Team pickup, in any postseason series. Lee spurned the Yankees for Mystery Team, and you'd have to figure it was because Mystery Team's GM, whoever he is, told Lee about all his teammates to come.

The rotation has depth as well as star power, with C.J. Wilson slotting in as a strong third starter, Carl Pavano a capable fourth starter, and the fifth starter a competition between Justin Duchscherer and Brandon Webb. Mystery Team is hoping one of them will stay healthy, but isn't counting on both of them. It's called Mystery Team, not Fantasy Team.

The bullpen is anchored by Mystery Team's most engaging personality, Heath Bell. But Bell isn't alone. Mystery Team wanted Chad Qualls so badly, Jon Heyman reported they wanted him two times over. And lefty Joe Beimel is an old reliable Mystery Team standby, filling capably the role of MOOGY (Mysterious One Out Guy).

It's only a matter of time until baseball fans everywhere begin to object to the incredible amount of money Mystery Team is spending to land the finest players at every position (though the exact number is unidentified). What seemed like fun at first has turned into a monster that could threaten competitive balance in the game.

So the next time you see someone wearing the Mystery Team colors, don't just smile and indulge this lark. Your favorite player could be heading their way next. You never know.


Full Story | 35 Comments | Categories: Mystery Team

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35 Comments on "The Mystery Team Position By Position"


Triple Hawpes Brewed
3 years 7 months ago

Uhm…what?!

3 years 7 months ago

mystery team is overrated, the Unknown League Middle-of-Freaking-Nowhere is a weak division

pennypincher
3 years 7 months ago

They also neglects the draft system and the farm system.  All they do is shell out big bucks at random names.  I can’t wait until the luxury tax hits them next season!

Kevin Manning
3 years 7 months ago

This was good satire to the whole of sports agents using the “mystery team” to sell players to real teams, increasing the price of a player in the process. I know that the mystery team is real at times, like with the Angels in signing Pujols.

RapidRobert19
3 years 7 months ago

Howard, this was an awesome piece! Well researched and an interesting spin. Keep up the good work!

JonKK
3 years 7 months ago

Nice job, Howard.  (if that’s who you really are…)

Ry.the_Stunner
3 years 7 months ago

I’d just like to make a correction.  The Rangers haven’t “landed” anyone yet, they’ve only won exclusive rights to negotiate with Yu.

vtadave
3 years 7 months ago

Thanks for clearing that up.

JacksTigers
3 years 7 months ago

Joe Nathan.

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
3 years 7 months ago

I’m not negotiating with anyone though… (See what I did there?)

nestleraisinets
3 years 7 months ago

agent X agrees…

3 years 7 months ago

Interesting story… Solid read.

3 years 7 months ago

Hhahahah! This is great! Nice job!

Morley C
3 years 7 months ago

Best MLBTR article of the week.

Madman2TX
3 years 7 months ago

The worst part is when the mystery team gets vultured by the mystery team: like matter coming into contact with antimatter…

mattinglyfan
3 years 7 months ago

The Mystery Team is from Parts Unknown and their uniforms have question marks all over them. Oh and they wear lucha libre masks. 

lawrence267
3 years 7 months ago

This is the dumbest article I’ve read on this site in awhile

chrisn313
3 years 7 months ago

Nice article, good read.

BeisbolJunkie
3 years 7 months ago

As I am reading this, I am picturing The Batting Stance Guy recreating a video illustrating these words. I LOL’d at all the links to tweets from “insiders” like little kenny citing new interest from mystery team.

3 years 7 months ago

This article frustrates me so much!

FamousGrouse
3 years 7 months ago

I just noticed mystery team has its own category. 

aricollins
3 years 7 months ago

This is the only MLBTR article that I’ve Liked on FB. Thanks for the laugh.

3 years 7 months ago

The mystery team is going to win the World Series.

Kevin Manning
3 years 7 months ago

The article is mocking the use of a mystery team by agents. It’s not about making a concrete point, it’s about how many times it’s used, especially in the last two off-seasons. 

chrisn313
3 years 7 months ago

It’s sad that u prob have a drivers license

baseball52
3 years 7 months ago

Says a guy named Oliver…

Jack Mumm
3 years 7 months ago

 Umm…your slurs are totally uncalled for.

JacksTigers
3 years 7 months ago

What doesn’t it have to do with this articele?!?!

JacksTigers
3 years 7 months ago

Fortnight.

JacksTigers
3 years 7 months ago

Mind. Blown.

Morley C
3 years 7 months ago

Made out to look like the Mystery Mobile from Scooby Doo?

Notin J. Notin
3 years 7 months ago

Thier uniforms should look like the Riddler’s costume…

zcoughlin2
3 years 7 months ago

Wouldn’t the Marlins new jerseys suffice for the mystery team? Completely random and hard to take seriously?

3 years 7 months ago

Haha this article was awesome, a fantastic read.  The line about Webb and the fantasy team was gold!

3 years 7 months ago

Would be a funny buy if it was a t-shirt jersey